The UK’s Which? consumer watchdog is currently suing Qualcomm alleging that the compant illegally inflated 4G modem prices, which were then passed on to buyers of Apple iPhone and Samsung phones.
Six months after it won an antitrust appeal with the US FTC, Qualcomm is facing a similar case in the UK. Long-standing consumer watchdog organization and publication Which? has applied to the Competition Appeal Tribunal to sue Qualcomm.
“We believe Qualcomm’s practices are anti-competitive and have so far taken around 480 million GBP [$667 million] from UK consumers’ pockets,” said Anabel Hoult, chief executive of Which?, said in a statement. “This needs to stop. We are sending a clear warning that if companies such as Qualcomm indulge in manipulative practices which harm consumers, Which? is prepared to take action.”
“If Qualcomm has abused its market power, it must be held to account,” she continued. “Without Which? bringing this claim on behalf of millions of affected UK consumers, it would simply not be realistic for people to seek damages from the company on an individual basis – that’s why it’s so important that consumers can come together and claim the redress they’re entitled to.”
Qualcomm said the case had “no basis”.
“As the plaintiffs are well aware, their claims were effectively put to rest last summer by a unanimous panel of judges at the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in the United States,” a spokesman told the BBC.
Which? is seeking damages for all affected Apple and Samsung smartphones purchased since 1 October 2015.
It estimates individuals could be entitled to up to £30 compensation each, depending on the type of smartphone they bought.
MacDailyNews Take: Qualcomm’s business practices in question? Shocker.